FOUNDATION OF ALL GOOD QUALITIES
by Je Tsongkhapa
(This prayer by Lama Tsongkhapa outlines
the basic Lam Rim teachings, the graduated path to enlightenment.)
The kind and venerable spiritual master
is the foundation of all good qualities. Seeing that dependence on him or her is the
root of the path, may I rely on him or her with great respect and continuous effort --
inspire me thus!
A human life with leisure is obtained
this once. Understanding that it has great value and is hard to find, may I produce
unceasingly the mind that takes hold of its essence day and night -- inspire me thus!
The fluctuation of our body and life is
like a bubble of water; remember death, for we perish so quickly. After death, the
effects of black and white karma pursue us as a shadow follows a body. Finding
certainty in this, may I always be careful to abandon even the slightest negative action
and to complete the accumulation of virtue -- inspire me thus!
There is no satisfaction in enjoying
worldly pleasures. They are the door to all misery. Having realized that the
fault of samsaric perfections is that they cannot be trusted, may I be strongly intent on
the bliss of liberation -- inspire me thus!
That pure thought to attain liberation
produces great conscientiousness, mindfulness and awareness, may I make the essential
practice, keeping the vows of individual liberation, the root of the doctrine -- inspire
Having seen that all beings, my kind
mothers, have fallen like myself into the ocean of cyclic existence, may I train in the
supreme heart dedicated to enlightenment, assuming the obligation to free all migrating
beings -- inspire me thus!
Generating the altruistic intention
alone, without cultivation of the three moral practices, does not lead to enlightenment.
Having realized this, may I practice with intense effort the vows of the conquerors
and their spiritual children -- inspire me thus!
By quieting distraction to false objects,
and analyzing the meaning of reality, may I quickly generate within my mindstream the path
uniting calm abiding and special insight -- inspire me thus!
When, trained in the common path, I am a
suitable vessel, let me enter with ease the great gateway of the fortunate ones, the
Vajrayana, the highest of all vehicles -- inspire me thus!
The basis of achieving the two powerful
attainments is the pure vows and commitments that I have pledged. Having found true
understanding of this, may I keep them even at the cost of my life -- inspire me thus!
Having realized the significance of the
two stages, which are the essence of the tantric path, may I steadfastly practice without
laziness the four sessions of yoga, and realize what the holy beings have taught --
inspire me thus!
May the spiritual teachers who lead me on
the sacred path and all spiritual friends who practice it have long life. May I
quickly and completely pacify all outer and inner hindrances -- grant such inspiration, I
In all my rebirths may I never be
separated from perfect spiritual masters, and enjoy the magnificent Dharma.
Completing all qualities of the stages and paths, may I quickly achieve the
stage of Vajradhara.